Warning: Don’t Ignore the Chirps


The high-pitched chirp woke me at 5:41 AM this morning. I thought I might have dreamed the sound, but a few seconds later another chirp sounded. It appeared to come from our ceiling smoke-detector. From then on, a single chirp signaled every thirty seconds.

The bed was warm and toasty, the air in our bedroom was on the chilly side. I didn’t want to get up, so I gave my husband a little nudge.  But he was still in a deep sleep and didn’t acknowledge the nudge. I got up and opened our bedroom door into the hallway – no smoke there, none in the kitchen area, and no other smoke-detector was beeping – only the one in our bedroom.

I climbed back into bed, snuggled under the warm covers and tried to get back to sleep, but I am too light a sleeper to turn off high-pitched sounds. Without his hearing aids in, David was oblivious to the chirps. I was a bit jealous that he could continue to sleep, while I hovered between a feeling of exhaustion, which cried out for just one more hours’ sleep, and irritation at that infernal metronomic chirping.

Then a sudden power surge briefly shut off our room hydrator; David awoke to my “What was that?!” Ah, a companion in my awakeness.

Assuming that the smoke-detector needed a new 9-V battery, I quickly located one, which my 6’3” husband used to replace the one in the ceiling detector. The chirping continued. So we replaced the battery in the hallway detector. But the steady 30-second chirp never wavered. It was like being in a hospital room with the sound of a heart monitor, only more ear-piercing.

David wanted to call the fire-department, but I asked for time to do my bathroom routine and get dressed. I didn’t want to be evacuated in my pajamas, without hair and make-up done for the day. Since it was not a real emergency, I figured I could ignore the chirp a while longer.

There are some warning signals that are non-emergency types – like a sniffle at the beginning of a cold, or a weak-battery visual on your cell-phone that says you need to plug-in for a recharge. Or the amber color on a stop-light.  Nothing bad has happened yet, but you need to be thinking about a change.

Of all the signals that people tend to ignore, the ones that relate to our spiritual lives seem to be the most universally ignored. God has set up a series of beeps and chirps that call us to consider the spiritual forces behind the material world – and this evidence that God does indeed exist means that we are accountable to Him.

The first series of beeps and chirps comes from the world of nature in which we live and move every day. However, we all too frequently don’t notice the sights and sounds that call our attention to something higher, purer, more noble than the world of man’s creation that also surrounds us:

The heavens declare the glory of God;  the skies proclaim the work of His hand.                                                                                                                                                             Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.                                                                                                                                                         They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.                                                                                                                                                                              Yet their voice goes into all the earth; their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

All creation speaks of God; we only have to attune our ears to hear what it is saying of our Creator. And once we hear what nature is saying about God, we are responsible for that knowledge: “responsible” means we need to “respond” to it – we are now accountable.

As nature speaks to us of God, it sends out messages of shock and awe. Shock at how destructive the created forces of nature can be – as in floods, tornados, earth quakes, etc. And awe at the majesty and power of the God who created the earth and the forces of nature that are capable to both sustain and destroy it.

Nature speaks to us of a God of love and beauty, but also of justice. Wrongs must be righted, and wickedness that holds back the truth has to be dealt with.

Romans 1:18-25 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to themEver since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.

So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools; and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!  NRSV

The truth about God is buried in our sub-conscious, sending out many beeps and chirps into our conscience.  If we will listen for the truth and determine to follow it, it will lead us to God – if we ignore the chirps, it will eventually lead to our destruction.

Romans 2: 12-15   “For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.  For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them  . . .”

Often Christians are accused of being “preachy” and “judgmental”, because the “God-detector” (conscience) built into their family, friends, and acquaintances is active and is sending out beeps and chirps of conviction directly from God’s Spirit into their hearts: the believer gets the bad rap, because he or she is there in plain sight. It seems to be human nature to blame someone else when we’re uncomfortable – but that’s another blog.

By the way, the chirps this morning? After replacing batteries and even installing a new smoke-detector, we discovered the chirps were coming from our carbon monoxide detector, probably due to several power surges during the early morning hours. Go figure.

So, hey! Are you hearing the beeps and chirps that continually come to your spirit from God? Do you think it might be time to pay attention to them?

©2012, Marcy Alves

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About Marcy

I love my Father-God. Together we are walking through a season of my life where I am standing with him against cancer. He is my strength and trust. As one of his daughters, my passion is to share his love with others in practical, everyday illustrations and insights.

Posted on April 26, 2012, in Christian Growth, Follow Me, God Encounters, Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. beeb beeb beeb beeb

  2. Believe it or not, when I first saw the title of this post, a bird was chirping just outside. And he wasn’t messing around. He was loud and unashamedly telling the whole neighborhood something profound. I didn’t understand him, but he sounded very happy. He was probably singing, “This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made…”

    This is great:

    “Often Christians are accused of being “preachy” and “judgmental”, because the “God-detector” (conscience) built into their family, friends, and acquaintances is active and is sending out beeps and chirps of conviction directly from God’s Spirit into their hearts: the believer gets the bad rap, because he or she is there in plain sight.”

    Thanks for a wonderful post and a reminder to stay tuned in to the Lord.

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